In our brave new digital world, it’s sometimes difficult to discern the appropriateness of our online actions. Some things are very obviously a bad idea (cussing a co-worker out via email or posting photos of yourself having fun at a picnic after calling in sick), but other things are less so (befriending your boss on Facebook or making a connection to someone on LinkedIn whom you don’t really know that well). Even if your organization has created an electronic communications policy, it is still possible to make digital etiquette bloopers or blunders that may haunt you, your career or your organization for years to come.
Enter “Business Etiquette: New Rules in a Digital Age” by Robert Half, one of the world’s largest professional staffing firms. This e-book (PDF format) provides excellent guidance on how to behave professionally as a digital being.
A few of our favorite tips from the book:
- “Prize quality over quantity. Network envy can make some people link aimlessly just to build their number of contacts. Don’t invite strangers to your network merely to make it larger, and don’t be offended when those you’ve never met or vaguely know ignore your requests. Your network is only as strong as its weakest connection.
- Respect the wall. If you wouldn’t want to read it on a billboard, don’t post it to your Facebook wall – or anyone else’s. This holds true even if you use Facebook only to socialize. Remember, anyone you ‘friend’ can see your comments, photos and YouTube video links. Email or use Facebook’s messaging feature instead.
- Think before you Tweet. When using Twitter for business, keep it PG-rated. Avoid posting any information about controversial topics or sharing sensitive information – you could get into hot water.
- Make every email fight for its right to be sent. The less you send, the more likely your messages will be read. Don’t copy others unless they really need to read it.
- Keep it short and sweet. A good rule of thumb is to consider the length of a ‘tweet’ for your instant messages. IMs are best for quick back-and-forth conversations; many IM programs even limit the amount of text. And if your overall exchange is taking up too much time or text, a phone call or in-person meeting can yield quicker results."
Download your copy of this FREE e-book at: http://www.roberthalf.us/businessetiquettequestions. If you like it, you may want to consider sharing it with your friends, colleagues, or staff!